Young New Zealanders can’t afford to pay for doctor visits

Results from the New Zealand Health Survey (NZHS) show that many young Kiwis are not getting the primary healthcare that they need, the Green Party said today.

There has been an increase in the number of 15-24-year-olds who can’t afford to see their GP, from 12.3 percent to 16.2 percent. This represents 108,000 young New Zealanders who are not able to access the healthcare that they need.

“Our young people need to be able to go to their GP when they need help, and not feel they have to put off their health concerns until they escalate and may need urgent medical care,” Green Party health spokesperson Julie Anne Genter said.

“Going to the doctor should never be considered a nice-to-have or a luxury in New Zealand; if you need to go to the doctor, then you should be able to go.

“It is unfortunate that young people are bearing the brunt of National’s cuts to healthcare. It is estimated that the health system has been underfunded by $1.7 billion since National came to power.

“This Government has continually put off making long-term investments in New Zealanders’ health, such as taking action on child poverty or obesity, and there will be delayed costs for these kinds of issues down the line.

“Also worrying is that Māori and Pasifika children are 1.7 times more likely to not be able to see a GP than other children.

“These inequalities in our health system have very real consequences, and a Green Party in Government would ensure more funding across the board for our health system,” said Ms Genter.

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